The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Professional Plagiarism

I read these three articles in the following order: Chez (Lehrer), Haughney (Zakaria), and finally Bailey (Anderson). Chez, whose fence-sitting irritated me almost to the point of a cease-read, actually raised an entirely valid point regarding self-plagiarism. In an age of immediacy, where “our appetite for information…is voracious to the point of being insatiable,” aren’t we fostering the growth of this bacteria in the journalistic Petri dish? There are far too many cases arising where distinguished journalists are collapsing under the pressure of society’s demand for “everything to be delivered to us quickly and en masse, quality never suffering.” Plagiarism is an act of desperation. When professional writers “en masse” plagiarize, it is time to question the system which cultivates such behavior.

Just step into Fareed’s daily life: “Mr. Zakaria, 48, balances a demanding schedule, doing work for multiple media properties. He is a CNN host, an editor at large at Time, a Washington Post columnist and an author. ” To be fair, I would not be able to sustain this lifestyle without occasionally ripping off some of my earlier work.

The irony of the Chris Anderson story really astounds me. Our author, Jonathan Bailey literally self-plagiarizes practically verbatim throughout the entire tedious hunk of text. Perhaps it is not considered self-plagiarism because he didn’t rip himself off from earlier works, but rather multiple times throughout the same work? Regardless, how many times can he possibly repeat his three concerns over and OVER again by changing a few different words? Bailey wonders whether Anderson’s act was “malicious or lazy plagiarism,” or perhaps “sloppy research,” or is it “sloppy editing and research”? (all these phrases are taken verbatim from this short article). Finally, Bailey cannot convey to his reader ENOUGH how he is unable to make valid and level-headed claims against Anderson because he is not well-enough informed regarding the situation at hand. So, why did he even bother writing an article?


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